Yesterday was a busy news day given the second impeachment of Donald Trump, something that’s never happened to a United States President before. The news came in around 4pm our time and I pretty much couldn’t focus on anything else but the news.
But that wasn’t the only big news if you are a fan of the NBA. James Harden was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets where he joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to form a new Big 3.
I was a Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls fan growing up but fell out of watching the NBA when I was in college. I missed a lot of the Kobe/Shaq years and even the Boston Celtics run in the 90s.
So for me, the idea of the Big 3 starts with LeBron’s decision to go to Miami and play with Chris Bosh and Dwanye Wade. It was the decision that led me to start watching the NBA again even if it was mostly to see Miami fail. It was tough at first, but Miami finally squeezed out two championships in LeBron’s tenure there.
In order to win, the Big 3 really had to become the Big 2 with Chris Bosh taking a much lesser role than originally intended before LeBron arrived. It took Dwayne Wade having to relinquish some of his leadership of the team over to LeBron in order to win.
I think LeBron has shown that a Big 2 is much more likely to win a championship with his recent Lakers win with Anthony Davis. You have two of the best players in the league and you compliment them with competent players who know their role.
Therefore, I’m confused how the Big 3 will work with James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, all of which need the ball in order to score. Who takes the big shots at the end of the game? Whose team is it? Can one player be willing to be like Chris Bosh and see his role diminish for the greater of the team?
Maybe. One thing I noticed when Durant was with Golden State was he excelled by having extra shooting threats on the floor in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Defenses had to pay attention to them as well so it often left him wide open for easier shots.
Perhaps having a scoring threat like Harden on the floor with the Nets will open up the same opportunity for Durant. Given Kyrie’s injury history, it’s probably likely he won’t make it to the playoffs so Harden can pick up the slack there. Or perhaps this lets Brooklyn rest Kyrie more this season so he’s fresh for the playoffs?
It’s going to make for an interesting team to watch this season!